The use of social media (some) as a learning tool in healthcare education: An integrative review of the literature

Deborah Goode, Natalie Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
715 Downloads (Pure)


The exponential rise of social media (SoMe) has transformed how people connect, learn, and network. The use of SoMe in health education is in its infancy. The objective of the review was to examine the use of SoMe by healthcare students, professionals and educators to ascertain if the use of SoMe enhanced the learning experience.
An integrative literature review was completed in February 2019.
Data sources
Three databases were used to facilitate the literature search (Medline (Ovid), Cinahl, and Scopus).
Review methods
Inclusion and exclusion criteria for the literature search were applied and PRISMA guidelines followed. The search retrieved 316 citations. Forty-seven duplicate articles were removed at this stage. Titles and abstracts were screened and 215 excluded as they were not relevant. The remaining articles were assessed for eligibility and 37 were excluded for not meeting the review requirements.
Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP, 2019) checklists primarily guided the critique of the literature, with the Caldwell et al. (2011) approach used to supplement the critique of health-related research studies. 17 research studies are included in this review. Themes were developed using Braun and Clarke's (2006) approach. Five reoccurring themes emerged: communication and collaboration, a source of reference, personal development, pitfalls and ethical concerns.
This review provides a synthesis of SoMe use in healthcare education. SoMe is an excellent educational resource which can provide advantages in education. Areas of concern were noted and the need for improved policy and guidance highlighted. Further research and education on SoMe use in healthcare education is essential for educators, students and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104357
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date29 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This is to certify that there has been no external funding source for this review.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Communication
  • Healthcare
  • Nurse education
  • Social media (SoMe)


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